It was a packed house Thursday for the grand opening of Lucille's Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, and the serving staff were all wearing the "most important" part of their uniform — a smile.
The BBQ chain prides itself on "low and slow" cooked meat served with "Southern hospitality," according to District Manager Jim Bernacchi.
Around 2,000 people applied for a job at the Concord Lucille's, said Bernacchi, and only 150 were hired. All staff are trained in ettiquette, and after plenty of practice runs, the first real dinner service commenced. Patrons of the Concord restaurant experienced the ribs, chicken, brisket and tri-tip that had been marinating in the hickory-wood smoker for up to 24 hours.
The Lucille's in the Sunvalley Shopping Center is the chain's 17th location and first in the Bay Area. Lucille's was founded in 1999 in Long Beach and has since opened up across California, as well as in Arizona and Nevada. The Concord restaurant is open until midnight every day.
Aside from the large restaurant and patio, the bar at Lucille's is itself a destination. Large televisions show sports games and the "happy hour" menu includes appetisers from $3, 22 oz beer from $3.50 and margaritas for $4. "Happy hour" is Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., and every day 9 p.m. to close.
Bernacchi says the BBQ platters are the chain's most popular, allowing diners to sample the different meats — and save some for lunch the next day too.
Watch the videos above for a glimpse inside the restaurant and smoker.
Have you been to Lucille's yet? What did you think? Share your review in the comments below.